Newton Challenge was one of the race that offering the unique distances (15km & 25km) on the very challenging route in Bandar Kinrara. This was also the 3rd Newton Challenges in the past 2 years (twice in 2012) and I was running in the first one, now I returned to this race as it was one of the most challenging route with the Amah Hill and her two daughters.
This was a good testing ground to gauge my training result. I ran the first Newton Challenge when I was in relatively good form and took down all the climbs without much issue. Running on identical route served a good indication of one’s physical form. Anyway, the new route added in another climb towards the 20km just to make it more challenging. I planned to have an easy ride on this race to practice my target marathon pace (6.4 min/km). From the recent 2 races, I knew I don’t need to push too hard for this pace, but those were only 10k & 21k. I would like to find out if I can last for the 25k.
Closed to 1500 competitors lined up for 25km category. I started at the back as usual. The race field was packed from starting line all the way to the first water station, and then the pack eased up further when we turned at the traffic light to take down the first climb. I maintained a good average pace from start, at 6.3-6.4min/km. The situation started to be tricky after reached the top of the daughter hill. My legs felt extremely itchy, there descends was calling them to charge... no choice but just listen to the body and charged on. From there, the pace increased to 5-5.5min/km when descending, and 6.1-6.2min/km when climbing. Basically that’s what repeated for the rest of the distances left.
|Towards the finish line, photo taken by Vivian.|
The average pace from the race is 17 seconds faster than my target pace, and the heart rate averaged at 146BPM, with overall max at 161BPM. This showing that the training program hard brought me to a much better physical form. I am confident that I am doing fine now and heading towards my target of sub4.5. Looking at the pace chart, I think I will need some hill-repeats cause there will be more hills to climb in Titi50. Bukit Kledang at my home town will be my best friend come Chinese New Year :)